The benefits of gardening with your child:
The conversations you have and new words you introduce will support your child’s language and communication skills.
- Your child will begin to learn about life cycles and where food comes from.
- Your child will develop a sense of responsibility as they care for their plants.
- Digging, filling pots and handling seeds or seedlings will support muscle development and coordination.
- Being outdoors and/or around green plants has a positive impact on mental health.
- You will be supporting your child to develop a love of nature.
What could you plant?
- Quick sprouting seeds can be a good place to start so that children don't have to wait long to see their plants grow. For example, cress, salad leaves, or sunflowers.
- Herbs such as basil and mint are also quick to grow and can be grown on a windowsill indoors, outdoors in a pot, or in the ground.
- Vegetables and fruits take longer to grow but will be exciting to harvest and eat! You could try tomatoes, strawberries, peas, potatoes, or carrots.
- Plant summer flowering plants such as pansies from seed or plant bulbs in the autumn and wait for them to grow in the spring.
- Share seeds with a friend or family member, you won’t need a whole packet.
- Recycle plastic food trays and plastic bottles to create mini greenhouses on your windowsill.
- Look for vegetable and flower seedlings for sale at the supermarket in the spring and summer.
- Let your child help as much as possible, they will feel a real sense of pride when their plants begin to grow.
- Talk about the instructions as you read them, this will help your child understand the purpose of reading.
- Make a label together for your plants. Your child can see you writing, and maybe have a go themselves, or make a picture label.
- Your child will love watering their plants, and it’s great for developing their coordination. Use a small bottle or jug if you don’t have a watering can.